Welcome back to the Griswold Blog. We promised you a few inspiring stories about some of our franchisees, so we won’t make you wait any longer. Our first feature is on Brian and Cheryl Rice, who have been Co-Directors of the Lake/Geauga Office of Griswold Home Care for 10 years.
Brian and Cheryl currently live in Painesville, OH, have one daughter who recently graduated from college (congratulations!) and are both very active in their church and community.
THAT WAS THEN…
Brian had been in banking for over 20 years. He worked as a Branch Sales Manager and Mortgage Loan Underwriter before giving into his frustrations and leaving the industry, emotionally drained from his experience with the “profits before people” mentality. His wife Cheryl was working part-time as a writer for a small community newspaper, where she and her talents were both underpaid and underappreciated.
The liberating notion of self-employment was very appealing to Brian and Cheryl. However, they were always deliberate when making major life changes and financial decisions, so becoming business owners was certainly not a “no-brainer” for them.
Cheryl did a good deal of research and found a continually growing demand for non-medical home care. It goes without saying that an industry in high demand is particularly appealing to budding entrepreneurs, so the couple promptly began discussions with two home care providers — one of them being Griswold.
While the initial company wanted to wrap things up in a few weeks, Griswold took two to three months to learn about Brian and Cheryl as individuals before evaluating them as prospective Directors. This made the Rices feel more comfortable about the important decision at hand and confident that Griswold was the right choice.
THIS IS NOW
In January 2003, Cheryl began the office in their home while Brian continued his job at the bank. On July 3 of that year, he left the security of his stable career to join Cheryl full time in the home office. They experienced a few cash flow problems and many sleepless nights in the beginning, but they say it was these struggles that made the success more gratifying.
“The constant guidance and encouragement we received from our corporate office was critical in the early years,” says Brian. “Knowing they had complete confidence in our success made all the difference in the world as we began the long process of building relationships with referral sources.”
In 2009, the Rices assisted a couple that had experienced physical and financial abuse from a close relative. Through Griswold’s Special Care foundation, they were able to secure funding to keep the couple living at home until they qualified for Medicaid. They also worked closely with Case Managers from the Lake County Council on Aging and the Cleveland Area Agency on Aging. In 2010, Brian and Cheryl’s franchise became the only home care office in all of Greater Cleveland to receive an Independent Living Award from the Western Reserve Area Agency on Aging (WRAAA).
Brian has also been working with Meals on Wheels since 2004, and he regularly encourages his office staff to help drive. They now deliver Meals on Wheels in three cities, and the local Council on Aging recently designated Brian as the Honorary Chairperson for the 7th Annual March for Meals — a yearly fundraising effort that raises awareness for the issue of senior hunger and recruits volunteers to make home meal delivery possible.
Brian and Cheryl have extended their compassionate service and support to a myriad of other charities, including Cleveland Foodbank, Cleveland Harvest for Hunger, Project Hope for the Homeless, Karpos Homeless Meal Ministry and the Alzheimer’s Association.
Although these words cannot possibly portray the colossal gratitude and respect we have for you, we at Griswold’s corporate office want to extend a simple Thank You for the amazing things you have done and continue to do for your community.
Brian and Cheryl, it’s people like you — and your contagious passion for compassion — who inject Griswold Home Care with the spirit it needs to make quality and affordable home care a reality.
Of course, there are countless individuals doing incredible things as franchise Care Directors. Unfortunately, we can’t mention them all, but subscribe or check back soon for another shining franchise story featuring Lesley Mills!